September 18, 2013, 10:38 AM — Before you upgrade to shiny new iOS 7 right away, be aware that it could be a big productivity killer. Here are all the reasons you might want to stay away for at least several weeks.
Here's the biggest reason your productivity could take a hit: Many apps may not work with it properly, or at all. uTest, which tests mobile apps via crowdsourcing for many companies, including Google, Amazon, Netflix, and USA Today, warns that many of the apps it's testing have problems with iOS 7. Chief Marketing Officer Matt Johnston told Business Insider that "90% of iOS apps tested for first time are having trouble." He warned that performance problems are a big issue, and says that some apps crash and others improperly display fonts. In particular, apps that use the swipe up feature will have issues, because in iOS 7, that gesture will bring up the new Command Center. It's possible that some apps simply won't work.
Another issue is that updates to allow the apps you use to work with iOS 7 could get delayed in Apple's approval queue. Shiny Development tracks how long it takes, on average, Apple to approve apps getting into the iOS App Store, and the times have been increasing. In the last two weeks, approval time has gone from a little over four days to nearly 8 days. The upshot? Before upgrading, check the Web sites of all your important apps, to see if they say the apps will be compatible with iOS 7, and if not, when they might be compatible.
There are other potential problems as well. If you're using your iOS device for work, your IT folks may not support iOS 7, which means you could be left in the cold. Apps developed by your company might not work with iOS 7 or yet be approved for it. And whatever mobile device management software your company uses could have problems with iOS 7 as well. So your device could be banned from your company network. Before upgrading, if you're using a work phone, as a minimum check with your IT folks.
If you've got an older piece of hardware, there's a chance it could become more sluggish with iOS 7. The new operating system has been designed for the latest hardware, and so older iPhones and iPads could have performance problems. Note that if you have much older hardware, iOS 7 won't work on it at all. It only works with the iPhone 4 and later, iPod touch (5th generation and later), and iPad 2 tablets and later.
Also be aware that you may not be able to downgrade to iOS 6 after you've installed iOS 7. Apple doesn't support such downgrades, and with some hardware, notably that with A5 and A6 chips, it simply can't be done.